Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Reconstructing AmeliaHardcover, 384 pages
Published April 2nd 2013

I wanted to like this, but the writing is really bad. Really bad. Really, really, really bad. Plus, some of the plot points simply made no sense. There are certain things you can suspend your disbelief to and that’s fine and normal when it comes to any form of fiction, as long as it makes sense in their world the author created, but there is a limit. There’s no way a detective would bring the mother of a victim along with him to interview witnesses and get statements. It….. No, just no.

Unless, he wasn’t really a detective and was only hired to act like one so Kate could find the truth. If this was the case, then I’m fine with it. However, that doesn’t happen. He’s just a cop who is investigating the suspicious death of a girl and decides that it would be fun to let the dead girl’s mom take lead in the investigation.

Yea…that would never happen. Never.

Also, the adults sounded and acted like teenagers. Once you get to the end, you’ll understand what I mean. The whole thing was just ridiculous.

Great potential here, but it’s wasted by bad writing, a plot that falls short, and characters that are just too stupid and not believable.

I’m seriously disappointed, because I really wanted to like this book and it just fell flat. I could probably write more about how the relationship between Kate and Amelia was mostly showing not telling and despite making it seem like the two were super close, they felt really distant from one another. Or I could write about how the whole Ben subplot was creepy and awkward. Or I could even talk about the Magpies, whose secret circle isn’t really all that secret. Or even about how everyone magically reveals their secrets within the last few pages, wrapping up all of the loose ends in a convenient little bow.

But I won’t.

Because the main problem with this novel isn’t really the plot, or the lack of brains the characters seem to have, it’s the writing. I almost feel like with a better author the stupid plot points maybe would have become plot perks or something. Instead, the book is just lackluster and boring. And a novel with this much potential and this kind of plot shouldn’t be boring.

Overall: I know there are a lot of people who loved this. Loved it to the point that it’s going to be a movie starring Nicole Kidman. But I didn’t like it. It was boring. It was unbelievable. And I just didn’t enjoy reading this. This is McCreight’s debut novel and she did have great ideas, so I’ll probably pick up her next book to see what she’ll come up with next. But yea, this book was bad.


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